FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones said Wednesday he isn't sure he'll play in Friday night's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins even though he feels good about his recovery from a broken foot.
The Falcons have limited Jones' work during training camp, holding him out every other day. He participated in Wednesday's practice in full pads.
"Julio has looked fantastic," coach Mike Smith said. "We've got him on the prescription of a set number of plays every other day. We said we'd do that for at least the first two weeks of training camp and then we would make the determination about whether we would change it."
Jones said he must be cautious in his comeback though fans are eager to see him back on the field in a game.
"You know, everybody just wants to see me back out there on the field, the fans and everybody else," Jones said. "I've still got to be smart about it because it is preseason. You don't want to rush anything and play a preseason game that really doesn't matter. We've just got to be cautious right now and take it one step at a time. We haven't made any decisions yet."
Jones was leading the NFL in catches when his 2013 season ended with the injury in a Week 5 loss to the Jets. He broke the same bone in his right foot during his college career at Alabama.
Smith said quarterback Matt Ryan has had sufficient practice time with Jones and Atlanta's other top receiver, Roddy White.
"It doesn't look like they've missed a step," Smith said.
Safety Dezmen Southward returned from a leg injury on Wednesday. Smith said he wouldn't make a decision on Southward's status until closer to the game.
NOTES: Smith said he was happy with the first episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks" series on the Falcons' training camp. "My focus was about giving an advantage to our opponents, a potential competitive advantage," Smith said. "I thought the NFL (Films) and their producers and the producers at HBO did a wonderful job because there wasn't anything there that I was concerned about." ... Center Joe Hawley, who was tossed out of Monday's combined practice with the Titans for fighting, returned.
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